The Glenrothes Select Reserve
The Glenrothes are known for releasing single vintages, instead of the more traditional ages. However, they also have many, many releases without an age statement. One of those is The Glenrothes Select Reserve.
If there’s one critique The Glenrothes often receives, it is that their official bottlings can’t hold a candle to the many, good quality independent bottlings out there. To be honest, I have to agree with that critique. I adore Glenrothes whisky, but haven’t tasted too many decent official releases.
As with most NAS-bottlings, there’s absolutely no information on the contents of the Glenrothes Select Reserve. They’ll have used different vintages from different types of casks. But that’s true for almost any official bottling. Really, I can’t give you more information, other than that it’s probably pretty young.
Glenrothes Select Reserve (43%, OB)
Nose: Very musty with hints of grist and sugared cereals. There’s a layer of sourness here that is, I don’t want to say off-putting, but certainly far from enticing. Luckily it does disappear (although not completely) after a while, making room sultanas and oranges.
Taste: Sweet and spicy, with a fair amount of oak. The sweetness is provided in the form of vanilla and dried fruits, then there’s some cloves and black pepper to add a spiciness.
Finish: Short to medium, with a lingering oakiness.
Honestly, this tastes more like a simple blended whisky. I know that they can’t have added grain whisky to this vatting, but if you’d let me taste this blind, I might’ve thought so. It’s okay, I guess. But I feel you could do so much better as a consumer, even at this modest price point.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.